French Court Unfreezes Russian Assets

PARIS — A French court has fully lifted a freeze on the Russian Central Bank's accounts with French commercial banks, frozen as part of a suit by Swiss trading firm Noga, a lawyer said Tuesday.

"We've won, which means that there is no longer any seizure possible in any bank," said Pascale Poupelin, who represents the Central Bank.

A source close to the Central Bank confirmed the move, saying it no longer had any assets frozen in France.

Noga won decisions in January freezing Central Bank assets held with a number of French banks, including 50 million euros ($77.4 million) held with Natixis and 50 million euros with Calyon.

Noga was seeking reimbursement of debt from an oil-for-food deal struck in 1991 to 1992.

In March, the court lifted a freeze on the Central Bank assets held with Natixis. It was not immediately clear whether the funds unfrozen Tuesday were held only in Calyon or in other banks as well.